Have you ever wondered why your golf swing is inconsistent, or why your effort on technique just isn’t equating to improvements on your scorecard? Of course, having some one to one coaching will assist you greatly in achieving improvements but I am going to outline a few things to regularly do to keep your body in shape so your last swing of the day is as good as your first. Let me take you through a few essentials that should be included in any golfers training regime.
The problem – poor upper back mobility.
I’m sure it doesn’t take me to tell you that the rotation through your thoracic spine (upper back) is absolutely crucial to any golf swing. Without it the power required in rotation will be distributed elsewhere through the body as you try to compensate for further range of movement. This will inevitably lead to overuse injuries elsewhere in the body usually either in the upper limb or the lower back.
The solution – arm opening exercises. Lie on your side with your knees bent and your heels in line with your hips. Have both hands out in front and at shoulder height. Take one hand off the other and twist through the upper back as you face towards the ceiling. Repeat at least 10 times.
The problem – poor hip stability and movement.
Nearly as crucial as upper back mobility is the control of your hips as you transfer your body weight between the front and back leg in golf swing. Without this, again you will attempt to compensate elsewhere increasing injury risk in the weakest point of the kinetic chain.
The solution – To ensure you have adequate hip rotation a simple exercise is to get into a standing position with your knees slightly bent. Then point your knees out to the left and then the right without changing the forward orientation of your hips. You should feel your buttock muscles contracting to control the movement. Repeat at least 20 times
The problem – poor endurance of your back extensor muscles.
Expert golfing Physiotherapists and coaches have estimated that approximately 80kg of force pulls your lower abdomen forwards in Tee off. This leads to no surprise that by the end of the day some golfers can be feeling stiff in their lower back as these are the muscles that counter this forward force.
The solution – to prevent lower back pain is to build up the endurance in the position of swing. One good whole body exercise is getting into the set positions as though you are about to have a golf swing, cross your arms across your chest and rest your hands on your shoulders. Now staying in this position rotate your upper back from side to side slow and controlled 20 times. This will build enurance as well as help with motor patterning of the swing.
Overall, Golf is a rotary sport that has risk of injury if body mobility and control do not complement a well developed technique. Pilates is a great addition to any sport and golf is no exception.
For any golf performance questions or a more in depth assessment of your golf functional movement come in to Bend + Mend in Sydney’s CBD.